Boat Mishap Claims 20 Lives in Rivers State

Boat Mishap Claims 20 Lives in Rivers State

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Tragedy struck in the Andoni waterways of Andoni Local Government Area in Rivers State, where at least 20 people lost their lives in a boat mishap. The Executive Chairman of Andoni LGA, Erastus Awortu, expressed shock and sorrow over the incident in a statement released in Port Harcourt during the early hours of Wednesday.

The unfortunate incident occurred on Tuesday night and involved two passenger boats en route to Bonny, a neighboring coastal council area. Awortu extended condolences to the families and communities affected, expressing deep pain at the tragedy that unfolded after the successful festive celebrations and unity carnivals in the council area.

Awortu detailed the council’s immediate efforts to save survivors, provide first aid to the injured, and recover the bodies from the river. He pledged the local government’s commitment to easing the pain of the deceased families and communities during this challenging time.

Emphasizing the importance of compliance with passenger safety measures, Awortu called on boat operators to adhere strictly to safety regulations and cautioned against night sea travels.

The statement read, “We received with rude shock and deep pain a disturbing report that over 20 persons from Andoni are feared dead in a boat mishap involving two Andoni/Bonny-bound boats which occurred within the Andoni waterways on Tuesday, January 9, 2024.

“Upon receiving the sad development, we immediately dispatched our team to join the first responders on a rescue mission at the scene of the incident in a bid to salvage the situation.

“We are closely monitoring the situation to offer further support, especially to give the survivors necessary medical attention and recover the remains of the dead from the Sea.

“Our hearts go out to the Families and Communities of victims of this unfortunate disaster, especially Ngo Town, Ataba, Isiama, and other Communities whose loved ones were involved in the boat mishap.

“We share in their pain and trauma, our prayers and thoughts are with them in this moment of grief.

“We will do whatever we can as a Local Government to reduce the burden of grief of the bereaved families and communities.

“While we bemoan the boat mishap which came at a time when our people were still basking in the mood of a successful festive season in Andoni, we call on operators of water transportation in Andoni to ensure strict compliance with all passengers to safety rules.

“We also warn the operators to desist from embarking on night journeys on the sea.”

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